Weary of high Chicago asthma rates, some lobby Washington

Posted: 6/3/2013

From WBEZ:

The asthma hospitalization rate in Chicago remains significantly higher than the national average. While the origins of the disease remain elusive, mounting evidence has made its risk factors more clear, and Chicago has somewhat of a perfect storm for asthma problems.

Part of the city's above-average rate is demographic. Minorities have a higher prevalence of asthma. Puerto Ricans even when sharing the same environmental conditions as other ethnic groups, suffer higher asthma rates. African-Americans, too, are significantly more likely to have asthma than non-Hispanic Whites, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

And while the demographic trend is towards higher risk for asthma in cities like Chicago, the "triggers" that set off asthma attacks are also clustered in and around the nation's major metros.

"Having the disease is one thing. Having it under control is another," said Brian Urbaszewski, director of environmental health programs for Respiratory Health Association. Read more.